Working Class Self Organisation

Black and White and Dead All Over: The Lucasville Insurrection - Staughton Lynd

In April 1993, an inmate rebellion broke out at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, Ohio, near Cincinnati. Nine prisoners and one correctional officer were killed during the 11-day uprising. In court proceedings following the end of the riot, five inmates were sentenced to death and are presently on death row at Mansfield Correctional Institution. They are: Siddique Abdullah Hasan (formerly known as Carlos Sanders), Namir Abdul Mateen (formerly known as James Were), Keith Lamar, Jason Robb, and George Skatzes. Hasan, Mateen, and Lamar are black. Hasan and Mateen are Sunni Muslims. Robb and Skatzes are white and are members of the Aryan Brotherhood.

We begin with a chronology. Lest we be suspected of slanting our presentation, we take these facts from the opening statement of Special Prosecutor Daniel Hogan in Skatzes' trial.

April 11, 1993 - Inmates take over the L cell block. Six inmates are killed. More than half a dozen guards are taken hostage.

Walmart organise food collections for employees in hardship

You would be forgiven for thinking that this post is an April fool’s joke… Walmart are holding a holiday ‘canned food drive’. So that employees ‘in need’ can enjoy a thanksgiving dinner. Walmart claim it’s a positive move and typical of the organisations caring culture. The workers have a different take on it.

A Walmart lickspittle believes that the ‘canned food drive’ is a positive thing:

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“This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships. I could not be prouder of people in that store, helping people in touch situations.”

Thousands march in Greece on the 40th anniversary of 1973 student uprising

Tens of thousands of Greeks have participated in marches through Athens to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the student uprising against the US backed military junta. The blood stained flag that flew over the Athens Polytechnic on the night of November 17th, 1973, was carried at the front of the march in memory of those who had been murdered. “Bread, Education, Freedom” chanted the marchers, just as they had done 40 years ago. 6,000 extra police were deployed around Athens and security stepped up at the US embassy.

Both marches ended outside the US embassy, which is around 2 miles away from the National Technical University, the centre of the 1973 uprising. The uprising was brutally dealt with by the military, using tanks to across the campus, and killing scores of people, with over 1,000 people injured.

One of the marchers, 63 year old farmer, Thodoros Psarras, said that:

Bulgarian fascists run nightly patrols targeting immigrants

In the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, groups of fascists in paramilitary uniforms are conducting what they describe as ‘civil patrols’. The purpose of the patrols is to stop people in the street and then demand to see their identification or immigration documentation. Leading member of the far-right National Union Party, Boyan Rasate has claimed that the city council and police force are well aware of the patrols and do not object to them.

The patrols came to light after fascists had posted stories online, describing how they have been stopping people, shining torches in their faces, demanding to inspect their documents, and making threats of violence if they did not comply

A local journalist reported that:

Police attack IWW pickets at Insomnia Cookies

Striking workers peacefully picketing at Insomnia Cookies, Harvard Square, MA, have been attacked and arrested by the local police.

Picketers were asked to stop using a PA system, which they did, but were then attacked for no apparent reason. IWW member, Jason Freedman, was ‘punched and bloodied before being ‘thrown onto the trunk of a car’.

Striking Bangladeshi garment workers win a 77% pay rise

Following a four day shutdown of hundreds of factories by strikes and a series of violent confrontations involving tens of thousands of people, Bangladeshi garment workers have forced the bosses into a 77% rise to the minimum wage, although it is still the lowest minimum wage in the world. This victory will hopefully be a catalyst to other garment workers in India, China, Cambodia, and Laos, who are being held back from confrontation by the boss’s threats of relocation and dismissals.

Millions of workers are employed across the region in the garment industry accounting for over 75% of several countries’ GDP, so the bosses cannot stand a shutdown of longer than a few days. All power to the workers!

Direct action: memoirs of an urban guerrilla - Ann Hansen

The Vancouver 5, or Squamish 5, were five Canadians convicted in the early 80s of (successfully) bombing a hydro-electric power sub-station, the Litton Systems plant in Toronto, where components for Cruise Missiles were being made, and several Red Hot Video stores, accused of selling violent pornography. Now, finally, twenty years later, Ann Hansen, who served seven years for her involvement, tells the true gripping saga of an anarchist guerilla group. We do not agree with the politics or the actions of the author, but reproduce this text for reference.

From its origins in the Canadian anarchist and counter-cultural milieu of the late 70s/early 80s; to going underground into a clandestine life of arms drills, explosive practice, stealing cars, and (failed) armored car heists; to the massive reaction and surveillance of a State that felt (understandably) very much under attack; to the subsequent "trial by media" of those involved—this is very real

Striking Nestle worker murdered by right wing paramilitaries

Striking Nestle worker and trade union organiser, Oscar lopez, was shot four times by multiple gunmen in a local bar. ‘Sinaltrainal’, his trade union had been locked in a bitter dispute with Nestle over union recognition and report receiving several death threats via text message from a right-wing paramilitary group, ‘Urabenos’- the day before Lopez was murdered. The messages read, “We are going to chop you up” and “Death to all Communists”.

Nestle have predictably condemned the murder, issuing a statement saying – "We hope the authorities will be able to identify and arrest whoever is responsible for this crime." Not likely when you consider the apparent collusion between the government, Church, Police, bosses, and right-wing mercenaries.

Cambodian garment workers march on the Prime Ministers house

Protesting garment workers in Cambodia have clashed with police leaving scores injured. Workers employed at SL Garment processing – who make clothes for Nike, H&M, & Gap - marched on the Prime Ministers house, demanding better pay and working conditions. They were met by heavily armed police who were intent on violence, using live bullets and tear gas to disperse the marchers. A woman selling rice at the side of the road was shot and killed by the indiscriminate shooting of the security forces.

A spokesperson for the Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union said that:

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“The crackdown conducted by police this morning against workers was very cruel and unacceptable. Workers were unarmed, why did the police use live ammunition to crack down on them?”

Dozens arrested at protest demanding better pay for Wal-Mart workers

In the Chinatown area of Los Angeles, over 50 people have been arrested during a protest demanding better wages for Walmart workers. The trade union organised action involved more than 200 trade unionists, Walmart workers, and their supporters, who gathered outside a new Walmart store and sat in the road – blocking the road for a period of time before being arrested and dragged off. The police kept all those arrested in jail overnight unless they could find $500 bail.

Glen Arnodo, a spokesperson for the protestors said that: